Raisa Struchkova, Bolshoi Ballerina Who Stunned American Audiences, Dies

Classic Arts News   Raisa Struchkova, Bolshoi Ballerina Who Stunned American Audiences, Dies
 
Russian ballerina Raisa Struchkkova died on May 2, the New York Times reports. She was 79 years old.

Struchkova was one of the Bolshoi Ballet's leading dancers in the 1950s and 60s, when that company made its debut performances in America. She was especially known for her athletic duets with her husband, Alexandr Lapauri. In one work, Asaf Messerer's Moszkowski Waltz, Struchkova stunned audiences by running across the stage and throwing herself into Lapauri's arms.

Born in Moscow, Struchkova studied with Yelizaveta Gerdt at the Bolshoi school and joined the company in 1944. She won high praise within the Soviet Union for her performances of Giselle and Cinderella.

Lapauri died in 1975, and Struchkova retired from performaing in 1978. Afterward, she coached younger dancers at the Bolshoi, including Nina Ananiashvili (now with American Ballet Theatre).

Struchkova founded Ballet magazine, originally called Soviet Ballet, and edited it from 1981 to 1995.


Recommended Reading: